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Entries in retrofuture (11)

Monday
Apr042011

Paleofuture Magazine (Issue 1: Food)

The first issue of Paleofuture Magazine is now available for purchase! The print version will set you back $11.99 and includes a free PDF download that looks great on your futuristic computing machine. Or you can download the PDF version alone for just $1.99.

Paleofuture Magazine's first issue is all about food, with 42 pages of articles, reviews, and rare images, most of which have never been seen before on the Paleofuture blog. Contributors include Bob SassoneJosh Calder, Ryan V. Lower, Fábio Fernandes, and Mike Frodsham. Order your copy today!

Tuesday
Nov232010

What Happened to the Future?

Your fourth most favorite retro-futurist blogger was on the teevee box last night rambling about robots* and stuff. The clip is embedded below or you can watch it on KTLA's website. We hit most of the major topics and I somehow manage to keep my shirt on. The clip almost serves as a teaser for the next episode of paleofuture.tv, where I'll be taking a look at 1970's visions of the apocalypse. Stay tuned!**

 

 

*They edited out the part where I accuse President McKinley of being a lizard person who practiced witchcraft in the Hill Mansion. (damn mainstream media and their pro-lizard agenda)

**Or "don't touch that dial!" Both antiquated colloquialisms are equally inappropriate in this situation.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Friday
Jan292010

History of Hip: Yesterday's Tomorrows (Feb 2, 2010)

UPDATE: You can watch the video podcast of our presentation at the Minnesota History Lectures page on iTunes.

I'll be speaking about retro-futurism this coming Tuesday (February 2nd) at the Turf Club in St. Paul, MN. This Minnesota Historical Society event, The History of Hip: Yesterday's Tomorrows, starts at 7:30pm. I'll be sharing the stage with my friend, neighbor and retro-future co-conspirator Brian Horrigan. Brian wrote a book in 1984 titled Yesterday's Tomorrows to accompany the Smithsonian exhibit of the same name. We'll be taking a look at some of our favorite film clips and images from 20th century futurism.

The Turf Club is a bar, so unfortunately it's not an all-ages event. But if you're underage I'm sure you can find a good fake ID by Tuesday. Rumor has it that the first 10 people who arrive will receive a free hoverboard. But rumor also has it that I'm a liar. Swing by and drink up; it should be a good time.

 

Thursday
Dec242009

DIY Media of the Future (1981)

What we now call user-generated content was predicted in the 1981 book Tomorrow's Home by Neil Ardley. I dare say that this is the most accurate prediction we've looked at in 2009 (provided we ignore that robot arm, offering up delicious Christmas treats before it slaughters the entire family in a bloody rampage). Enjoy!

The caption:

Christmas in the future is an exciting occasion. Here the children have been given a home music and video system that links into the home computer. They are eagerly trying it out. The eldest boy is using the video camera to record pictures of the family, which are showing on the computer viewscreen. However, someone else is playing with the computer controls and changing the images for fun. At the same time, another child is working at the music synthesizer, creating some music to go with the crazy pictures.

Main text:

Have you ever wanted to conduct a huge orchestra, or direct a film? Very few people now get to do these thrilling jobs. However, the techniques of microelectronics are beginning to invade music and the visual arts, making possible all kinds of new and mazing ways of creating music and images. As computers develop, these techniques will begin to enter the home. You'll have the glorious sounds of vast orchestras and the excitement of the movies at your fingertips.

Your orchestra will not be a real one, but an electronic one with sounds created by a synthesizer. On command, the synthesizer's computer will play the music with any sounds you want. Singing is easy too. You can speak the words into the computer, and out will come choirs using your words or maybe even the voice of a famous singer of your choice.

You can make a film electronically too, by using video cameras and recorders. You can record family events, holidays, the world of nature, and even make your own video films with actors.

However, the home computer video system of the future will enable you to make these shows into spectacular entertainments. The computer will be able to take the images you record and assemble and treat them in all kinds of ways to produce a whole range of special effects of your very own. And you will also be able to use the computer to produce unusual moving designs and patterns, rather like making video cartoons or electronic paintings that move. Then you can put your video shows together with your own electronic music, and create the most stunning experiences -- perhaps even a totally new art form of the future!

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Dec062009

Jet Set in 1999 A.D. (1967)

Though commercial aviation has become a tedious exercise in repeatedly proving that your shampoo is not actually made of C-4, it's easy to forget that air travel used to be too expensive for the average American. Flying was an event, something you dressed up for. It wasn't so easy to book a relatively inexpensive flight one evening and be in a faraway land the very next day. Adjusted for inflation, flying has never been a better deal.

So, while most of us are not living Wink Martindale's life of jet-set luxury... enjoying 16-hour work weeks, clunky videophones, and zipping down to Mexico for a quick 18 holes, we can dream along with the 1967 film 1999 A.D.

 

 Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Nov222009

Doomsday 1999 A.D. (1981)

While perusing the shelves of a great Portland bookstore (Portland, OR really has the best used book stores in the country) I stumbled across the book Doomsday 1999 A.D. by Charles Berlitz and immediately flipped to the last chapter.

In the "apocalypse porn" genre you'll find that the final chapter is where the author either hedges his bets (maybe we won't all die, after all...) or offers an absurd possibility for the survival of mankind (let's spike foreign food aid with anti-fertility drugs!). Berlitz chooses to do a bit of both with a chapter called "The Arks of the Future."

Below is an excerpt from the final chapter of the book.

Although the idea of piloted UFOs and intelligent life in space is usually considered with a certain amount of sardonic humor, it nevertheless remains a possibility and should be considered as an added opportunity for Earth's peoples, through knowledge of its drive and methods, to develop another means of escape from our environment if or when it becomes untenable.

Our legends from an earlier world tell us of a great ship or ships which provided a refuge in far places of the earth, but perhaps after the next catastrophe Earth itself may become inimicable to humanity. Our survival plans should therefore be predicated on an intensified exploration of space; not only to find a refuge but also to expand our observation of the universe, to be able thereby to avoid or control dangers within the cosmos which may even now be drawing closer to Earth.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Tuesday
Nov102009

Crime Will No Longer Exist in 2007 (1907)

You know what's awesome about living in the future? Not having to worry about crime of any kind.

The March 17, 1907 Washington Post ran a piece from the Chicago Tribune titled "How Our Progeny Will Live One Hundred Years From Now." An excerpt, which imagines a world where crime is extremely rare, appears below.

I found the most interesting idea in the piece to be that those of a criminal inclination would no longer be allowed to procreate.

CRIME WILL NO LONGER EXIST

The repression of crime will largely be through preventive measures. With improved detective methods the chances of escape in any given case will be greatly diminished, the innocent will be rarely accused at all, and the punishments of the guilty will be of a reformatory character. In the meantime the study of mental science will have made great strides, and a great source of crime will be eliminated because men and women with the mental twist which leads to crime will be absolutely prevented from propagating their race.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future: